Decorating the Laundry Room – Function Doesn’t Have to Be Boring …

March 8th, 2009

When you think of “laundry room,” a dark, dingy basement may come to mind. Or, a small closet with a washer and dryer hidden next to, or…shudder…IN, the garage. But, these days, laundry rooms are coming out of the closet. They can be decorated, and look just as nice, as the rest of your home.

Of course, you still have to pay attention to the natural function of the room. Hiding the washer and dryer is an option, but how much trouble will it be to get to if it’s draped with fabric or covered by a “counter” that can be lifted off. Personally, I’d rather be able to use them without having to work too hard to get to them.

First, take a good look at the space available. Maybe you do just have a closet. If so, you’re options are limited. If there are no cupboards above the machines, or if the shelves are inadequate, it shouldn’t cost too much to replace them. Choose quality cabinets that look high end…even if they’re not.

If you’re lucky enough to have a real laundry room, you have a host of options. You will need cabinets of some sort to hide detergent, fabric softener and such, but you can also add other, more decorative, items. Even though the cabinets should look good, they should also have enough shelving inside to keep everything organized. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to move a bunch of stuff out of your way to reach the fabric softener.

If there’s room, provide a counter or even a small table for folding your laundry. It’s very inconvenient to have to carry laundry to another room just to fold it.

Paint can give your room a huge boost. I tend to choose more cheery colors such as yellows or a melon color. Laundry room walls don’t “have” to be white! Whatever color you choose, make it one that you can live in harmony with; you’ll be spending a lot of time there.

Choose window coverings that are pretty but make sure they are washable. The natural moistness of the room can cause dampness and dirt to stick to fabrics that remain in the room long term.

Use rugs on the floor. They can not only add bright splashes of color, but can add comfort to an area where you might need to stand for some time. Especially, if you have an ironing area in the room. Bathroom rugs work well because they are meant to absorb water. They are available in a multitude of colors so you’re sure to find something to fit your color scheme. And, while thinking about the floor, carpet just doesn’t work where water is likely to be spilled; tile or vinyl flooring is a much more sensible choice.

Posters and pictures in the room can add whimsy. I’ve seen some very cute posters that would be suitable for a laundry room on eBay. Humorous pictures can give a utilitarian room character. Fun murals painted on a wall can also be a great way to add fun and color to the laundry area.

Make sure your laundry room has plenty of light. Lighting will brighten the space as well as make it easier to see those pesky stains.

There are also some things you must have in a laundry room. A waste basket hampers for sorting laundry, and someplace to hang delicate items. Buy pretty ones! Using colors that are appropriate to your color scheme go a long way to making the room more inviting.

Some homemakers create a kind of “family center” in the laundry area for leaving messages, and sometimes a craft area to keep children’s inevitable messes from the rest of the house. My daughter even has a small television in her basement laundry room so her kids can go watch their favorite shows when mommy has something she’d rather watch in the family room.

Decorating the laundry room is important to anyone who has to spend a lot of time in one…which is the majority of us! Why should the laundry area be dark and grungy…make it a room you want to be in.

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